How does Jurassic World compare to the original Jurassic Park?

Jurassic Park, Jurassic World.
Jurassic Park Logo

The many similarities between Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.

Recently a number of films from the eighties and nineties have gained an exciting, new lease of life in the form of sequels. The 1993 cult classic Jurassic Park has proved no exception. Jurassic World is the latest (and fourth) instalment in the Jurassic Park series. It is a thoroughly modern film and yet it still manages to stay true to the spirit of the original.

Characters

Annoying Kid from Jurassic Park

Both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World feature four main characters, a man, a woman and two children. In Jurassic Park the leading character is Alan Grant, a palaeontologist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of dinosaurs. From the beginning of the film, Alan is aware of the danger posed by the dinosaurs. Alan can be quite an aggressive character but he also has a childlike sense of wonderment in response to Jurassic Park. In Jurassic World, the hero is Owen Grady, an ex-navy Raptor trainer. He has a deep connection with his Raptors and he often talks to them as if they were people. Like Alan before him he has a healthy respect for dinosaurs, as well as a great deal of knowledge about them.

The leading woman in Jurassic Park is Ellie Sattler who is a palaeobotonist. She is an intelligent and sassy character who always has a good comeback for anyone who underestimates her. Her Jurassic World equivalent is Claire Dearing, an executive working at Jurassic World. She is even fiercer that Ellie. She is also a super-organized control freak who does not know how to deal with people. She struggles to listen to other people but, by the end of the film, she discovers a softer side to herself and realises that she does not always have to be in control.

The children in Jurassic Park are Tim and Lex Murphy, the grandchildren of John Hammond, the man behind the original Jurassic Park. Lex is a timid, vegetarian, computer whizz. Tim is intelligent and keen on dinosaurs. He is also disobedient and impulsive. The children in Jurassic World are Zach and Gray Mitchell, Claire Dearing’s nephews. Gray is very intelligent and over excitable. Like Tim he loves dinosaurs and like Lex he is timid. His older brother, Zach is a typical, modern teenager. He is concerned with being cool, he tries not to show his emotions and he is often mean to his little brother. However, when the need arises, Zach shows that he can be a kind and loving brother.

Owen Grady.

Setting

Jurassic World Gyrospheres Part 1

Both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are set in theme parks but there are many differences between the two places. Jurassic Park is, very obviously, a prototype theme park that is not ready to open to the public. There is no official entrance to the island, there are no gates and no ticket machines. Very few rides are shown and it is more like a zoo, or safari park, than a theme park. Even so, there are some commercial elements to Jurassic Park such as a gift shop selling merchandise and a learning centre for the public complete with a café. The attractions are clearly incomplete. The lack of locking mechanisms of the jeeps is a particular problem. The newness of the park is further emphasised by the way that the staff constantly worry about things going wrong. Jurassic World is set in a far more established version of the theme park, that has been open for ten years. In Jurassic World, the experience begins in the docking area. It is a very commercial place full of stalls, attractions, gift shops and restaurants. There are several elements of Jurassic World that resemble Disney World, from the monorail, to the water rides, to the dinosaur petting zoo. There is also a water show that is reminiscent of Sea World, with a splash zone. The rides are very high tech, especially the gyrospheres that Zach and Gray get trapped on. Jurassic World provides a picture of what Jurassic Park could have become, if it had only been successful.

The Leptocleidus feeds.

Dinosaurs

Jurassic World-Indominus Rex Escape

A common theme of both Jurassic World and Jurassic Park is the comparison of dinosaurs to modern animals. In Jurassic Park, there is often a lack of thought shown for the dinosaur’s welfare. Tasers are used to control the dinosaurs. In a scene where a raptor attacked a human, she was shot without a second thought. The scientists in Jurassic Park also genetically modify the dinosaurs making them all female and making them dependent on humans for Lysine. Most of the people working at the park show a great disregard for nature, though Dr Ian Malcolm provides a dissenting voice. He suggests that they should show more respect for nature and for the danger posed by the dinosaurs. Alan also realises that the dinosaurs deserves respect as he says to Lex “They’re not monsters Lex, they’re just animals”.

In Jurassic World, the dinosaurs are being subjected to far more extreme forms of genetic modification. The scientists have begun to engineer new dinosaurs that are super intelligent and highly dangerous (as shown in the clip above). Some characters even begin to think about using the dinosaurs as soldiers, claiming that “extinct animals have no rights”. When the Indominus Rex dinosaur begins to kill the first reaction of the executives is to tranquilize rather than kill it but their reasons are mostly monetary. However, there are numerous characters who realise that the dinosaur’s welfare is important, particularly Owen who feels a deep connection with the raptors that he trains.

The genetically modified Indominus Rex.

Jurassic Park references in Jurassic World

Jurassic World: Old Visitors centre scene (HQ)

Jurassic World is a film that is very aware of its heritage, to the extent that film makes several deliberate references back to Jurassic Park. For example, one of the Jurassic World employees wears a T-Shirt with an old Jurassic Park Logo. Later in the film Zach and Gray actually find the old, abandoned, Jurassic Park nerve centre (as shown in the above clip). Inside they find the night-vision goggles that Tim played with in Jurassic Park. They also end up escaping using one of the Jeeps from the original ride.

Lowery Cruthers a Jurassic World employee wears a Jurassic Park T-Shirt.

Despite being made twenty-two years apart there are many similarities between Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, Jurassic Park was a massive hit and the makers of Jurassic World made a wise decision by choosing to honour their films heritage, rather than ignoring it.

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